Wellwater Conspiracy Gets Its Rocks Off
Even after a grueling 75-date tour of Europe and North America, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron wasted no time getting back into the studio. He and cohort John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet) wrapped "The SEven after a grueling 75-date tour of Europe and North America, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron wasted no time getting back into the studio. He and cohort John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet) wrapped "The Scroll And Its Combinations," their third full-length under the moniker Wellwater Conspiracy, and are already working another new album. "Scroll," the band's first set for TVT, drops May 22.
Although WWC's sound is not entirely free of comparisons to its principal members' past bands, "Scroll" finds Cameron and McBain switching instruments liberally, and reveling in everything from gritty garage rock to oddball instrumentals. The album also includes covers of tracks by two obscure '60s acts: Dutch band the Q65's "I Got Nightmares" and Morgen's "Of Dreams," which is likely to be the first single.
"I like picking these kinds of bands because you normally wouldn't hear these songs," McBain says. "They're just great songs that got lost."
The album is loaded with more familiar faces, including Cameron's ex-Soundgarden mates Ben Shepherd and Kim Thayil, who play guitar and bass on several tracks. Cameron says with a laugh that "this weird singer dude we just kind of found around town" sings lead on "Felicity's Surprise." Actually, it's Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, masquerading behind the pseudonym Wes C. Addle.
"I had no idea what he was going to do when he came in, but it fit perfectly," Cameron says of Vedder's performance on the melodically inventive, McBain-penned track. "It was also the first time he's ever double-tracked his vocals. I was really happy that he chose our band to do that with."
With no concrete plans as to when Pearl Jam will reconvene for its next album, Cameron and McBain are making the most of their free time. "We have six rhythm tracks [finished for another album]," Cameron says. "One is kind of complete, a John tune that's totally '60s psychedelic. It runs the gamut. I've got some old school grunge. It's all over the place."
And although no wide-scale touring is expected, the duo will play a show in New York in early May, opening for TVT labelmates Guided By Voices. WWC's live lineup will be rounded out by veteran Seattle producer Jack Endino on bass, and keyboardist Glenn Slater, of Seattle rock mainstays the Walkabouts.